When: Thu., March 7 2013
HOLLY WILLIAMS With roots in the Appalachian folk of the Carter Family, country music is no stranger to family dynasties. Holly Williams’ half-brother is Hank Williams III and her father is Hank Williams Jr. But her most daunting forebear is grandfather Hank Williams Sr., who along with Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline form the trinity of fallen honky-tonk angels from which country springs eternal. Well aware of the crippling expectations raised by illustrious bloodlines, Holly Williams tacks away from the rowdy hell-raising of her father and half-brother, mining an introspective vein of pop Americana that is closer to the alt-bluegrass of Gillian Welch than the glitz of country royalty. In a throaty contralto reminiscent of Diana Krall, Williams sings of long-lost family, lives destroyed by addiction and longing for the open road. Never one to wallow in the syrupy excess of Nash-vegas, Williams strips her ruminative compositions to the bone on her latest release; the self-financed alt-Americana gem The Highway. Refusing to live up to her legacy, Williams charts a compelling course toward hard-won wisdom. By running contrary to the trappings of her forebears, she actually preserves the essence of granddaddy Hank.